A few mornings ago, I knew I wanted to speak to my kids about identity—about how to make sure their words to and about each other and others aligned with His Kingdom. As I was rocking Asa and praying about what the Lord would have me share with them—He spoke one simple passage.
(and to be honest, it kind of surprised me)
God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good and He validated it completely. (Genesis 1:31)
God took careful inventory of all that He made—and because God is infinite and never changes, I have to believe He takes the same care with each of us. He searches us out through and through—He searches out our rising and our falling…He searches out the things that make us happy and sad. He searches out every season of our lives and each little stitch that makes us up. And He says over us…
“behold, it is good”
As I was sharing with the kids, I was so convicted in my heart. The Lord’s presence was tangible at the kitchen table as we talked about making sure our words aligned with God’s heart. I explained to them that sometimes we act badly—but that doesn’t make us bad and we should never speak that over ourselves or our friends…that in each of us, God desires to establish His reign and Kingdom, to reconcile us to Himself and make us more like Jesus. I explained that when we speak words that are negative over ourselves and others, we are aligning with the enemy. Our words should always carry light and life—they should build up and encourage…strengthen. The kingdom of darkness tears down and makes small…but the Kingdom of God builds up and makes great.
As we closed our little kitchen roundtable, we went around and prayed for each other. As Layla asked God for the strength and ability to see as He sees, it was as if a layer of my heart was peeled open. I peered inside…He gave me a nice long look at the condition of my heart. It was not very lovely.
I had started decorating for a pity party, sending invitations to loneliness and insignificant. God was no longer on the throne of my heart—He was replaced with self-interest. I had surveyed my current circumstances and said to myself…
“it is not good….it is terrible…<insert long list of all the things I was frustrated with/at in the moment>
I repented, tears dropping into my sink full of dishes.
And I realized this…
We have the awesome privilege of expressing trust and devotion to love Him when we choose to listen to Him and His words over our lives in the midst of our circumstances and OVER all the other voices…when we respond to our circumstances in light of what He has said (“it is GOOD”). God is a good Father and He makes ALL things work together for our good (Rom 8:28). All things. And as we respond to Him in trust and surrender, we can bet that all of Heaven is waiting to back us up, to speak purpose into our lives. He strongly supports the faithful…the ones who stay the course with Him in spite of emotions and seemingly unfavorable circumstances. When we live a life of trust and surrender—when we kick everything that smells of self-pity to the curb…then and ONLY then can we live a loving and generous life.
As I finished up the dishes, I remembered a prayer that I had been praying for days—weeks…it was one of my favorite passages in the Bible that I had been praying back to God…
‘…From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I…’ (Psalm 61:2)
I realized He was answering that prayer in the sweetest way.
God’s vision sees so much further than ours. His vision goes past our circumstances…keenly aware of them, but never bound by them. And because His vision is great and because He is such a good Father, there will always be provision for every season and circumstance we find ourselves. He always provides the tools for us to grow and not fail. There is always grace to overcome under His leadership. There is always grace to align our hearts with His Kingdom and to submit our thoughts to Him..to look at the things in our path and say with our hearts and mouths that “it is good”….always good.
I believe with all my heart that as we burn with the conviction that God is good and He declares His goodness over us and our lives, we will find all the grace we need to be faithful in every season…to stay soft and cooperative, open and giving. We will endure with songs of joy and anthems of praise…and a deep, unshakable peace.
And before I go…I just wanted to share one more little piece of scripture…
All through His word, we consistently see God going out before His people, to encounter all obstacles and lay out provision, to make dwelling places out of some of the most uninhabitable seasons/places…but this is one of my favorites. Be encouraged—God has sifted and searched all of your paths. He has seen every obstacle and season and circumstance. He has placed plentiful provision in every place. It may be years of manna when you long for a steak dinner…but He sees it all and with all the love His big Father heart can hold He says, “it is good”….
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Lift up a song for Him who rides through the desert—
His name is the Lord—exult before Him.
A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the stubborn and rebellious dwell in a parched land.
O God, when YOU WENT OUT BEFORE Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness,
The earth trembled;
The heavens also poured down rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself trembled at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
You, O God, sent abroad PLENTIFUL rain;
You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary.
Your flock found a dwelling place in it;
O God, in Your goodness You provided for the poor.